Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    • #31196

      Has anyone had any experience of using cork flooring underneath either ceramic or vinyl tiles. The manufacturer recommends using plywood but to add cork underneath the ply might make it too high?

      The floor is suspended timber.

      All the information I can find about using cork on a floor is about cork tiles themselves or under laminate floors.

    • #36523
      Geoff Stow

      I really can't imagine that putting ceramic tiles on cork would work I am sure that movement due to the softness of the cork would end up cracking around the tiles if not the tiles themselves.

      The question is why are you putting cork down, is it for insulation if so it would be so thin as to do very little. And what are you putting it on.

      If it is suspended floor you could insulate between the joists add a barrier sheet and cover in FSC ply firmly fixed all round with plenty of noggings.


    • #36524

      Thanks for your comments Geoff.

      I got a sample of some 6mm cork today and it is not by any means soft. The Ceramic tiles was just a suggestion, I am actually laying Vinyl. These are pretty stiff themselves but won't crack if flexed. I am aware tough that a heavy kitchen appliance might compress something that was not up to the job over a period of time, which is why I am keen to hear from anyone who has used it on a floor. Some laminated floors are laid on cork.

      It is on a suspended timber floor and the reason is primarily insulation. I realise 6mm won't be huge in terms of insulation itself but it is a lot better than plywood, is waterproof, breathable and won't rot. I am planning on putting wool insulation between the joists as well.

      The only issue is that at 6mm it is flexible. Are there any glues for sticking cork to wood and vinyl tiles.

      Another possible solution is putting a thinner layer of cork underneath the plywood?

    • #36525
      Geoff Stow


      I really think that if you are putting insulation between the joists (and hopefully a membrane) then the cork would add so little that you would be better off with ply / OSB well fixed.


    • #36526

      The reasons for cork over plywood are: it is waterproof, breathable, good acoustic properties, rotproof, better insulator and more sustainable. As far as I can see it is better in every way.

      The only problem is it requires a different method of fitting and its just industry 'standard practice' to fit plywood.

      It's also 'standard practice' to only run the plywood and tiles to the units. The floor under the units are exposed, hence the idea of covering the whole floor in cork first.

      I was hoping someone might say they have tried it, or know someone who uses it. I can't see how it is any different to using cork floor tiles, but that seems to be the only use on floors.

    • #36527
      Alex Hunt

      Hi, what's the nasty vinyl – or even ceramics – for? You can get some really interesting cork tile finishes now, and it's warm underfoot, environmentally good (renewable, maintains cork industry in Portugal which isn't far away for transport) and a bit different.


    • #36528

      You are right Fran, there is a lot of variety with cork tiles these days, though the only problem is they still tend to look like cork tiles and require a bit more 'looking after' than vinyl. It wasn't really my choice to decide on the tiles but the underneath didn't matter so long as it was an improvement on the previous insulation level.

      I wanted expanded cork under the tiles, but it is so hard to get hold of, expensive and due to ignorance, the flooring company would not warranty a floor on cork.

      As it happens though I have used Charles Cantrell's version of expanded cork which is basically aglomerated cork granules compressed together with its own resins (not rubber or PU) £10 for a 9.5mm thick 610mm x 910mm sheet under the units.

      Despite what people have said about its compressive strength, under a 30mm diameter unit leg it is rock solid, under a vinyl or ceramic floor it would be perfect.

      Cork is very sustainable, yet its embodied energy is listed as 30 MJ/kg on the Greenspec website and in 'The Ecology of Building materials' by Bjorn Berg. If anyone has any explanation for such a relatively high value I would be interested to know.

    • #36529

      The ICE quote Bergs First Edition, in which he lists it as 4. His second edition (which only came out last year) has increased it to 30.

      Surely there must be other sources for an embodied energy value? I'd be interested to know why Berg increased it to 30 for his second edition if anyone knows?

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.